Friday, October 14, 2011

Philosopher Labels Proposed Ordinance as 'Fatal to Education': 800 Rally against Imposition of Kimigayo in Osaka

A national rally titled 'We say No! to the ordinance of Kimigayo coersion' was held in Osaka on 24 September with participation of some 800 citizens local as well as from other prefectures. The participants,including many teachers and students, were driven by mounting concerns surrounding the prefectural government's aggressive move toward enactment of education-related ordinances that reflect nationalistic view of the right-wing governor, Toru Hashimoto. In the opening speech of the rally, Philosopher Tetsuya Takahashi severely criticized the proposed ordinance and Hashimoto himself. "It should be called 'The Basic Ordinance for Destruction of Education.'" "The governor's vision of Osaka government is that of the imperial system whereby the governor is the emperor."
Following Takahashi's speech, teachers struggling under similar situations in other prefectures made short speeches of solidarity. Among them was Kimiko Nezu, an ex-teacher from Tokyo who continued defiance of Kimigayo through to the retirement of this year despite three times of six-month suspension. She encouraged fellow teachers to keep to their belief and not to give in. Masaki Yumoto, a university student one of whose parents is non-Japanese national, raised an issue for the protest movement while commenting critically on the proposed ordinance. "It would coerce children of non-Japanese nationalities to give away with their own identities. This is why I feel against it. I also feel that the protest movement has yet to involve younger generations. I urge the participants to consider what each of you can do to reach out to the youth."
The rally was webcast by Labornet TV.
(By Jo Kimura, Labornet Reporter based in Kansai Area) *Photo: The venue, Thirty Hall in Daito-shi, Osaka




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